Monday, 8 February 2010

Love Happens

Dir: Brandon Camp - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Judy Greer, Dan Fogler, John Carroll Lynch, Michael Sheen, Joe Anderson, Frances Conroy
USA/Canada, 2009

Seen: February 5, 2010 on DVD

Reason to see: Trailer got me interested, looked like a romance with an interesting journey

It's always a treat to see a good romantic comedy. Love Happens gracefully explores both romance and comedy but doesn't overdo either, which leaves us with a sweet and charming drama with romantic and comedic elements. We begin with Burke, played by Aaron Eckhart, a author and motivational speaker - look at that, right from the get go it shakes things up by having the protagonist in a romance be a guy. This is a refreshing take as we the journey from his eyes as Aaron Eckhart does a great job of showing us the character that feels very realistic, someone whose carefully and quietly spinning a lot of emotional plates all the while staying strong as the motivational speaker he has become.

To add the romance element of the film, enter Jennifer Aniston as the florist Eloise to start the ball rolling. The film isn't completely centred on the romance, but when it does I loved how the relationship builds gently formed and how both actors do a great job of showing the awkwardness those tender first steps can be. One of the things I found fascinating was how distant Burke's personal journey felt from everything else in his life, and how it asked the question of what happens when our actions move out of alignment of our values. I found this totally unexpected and loved how it was dealt with realistically.

The one thing where I did raise Re: World of motivational speakers/self-help guru's. Those in the field will likely raise an eyebrow at a few moments, although it's clear that it's used as a part of the plot/process not really a 'how to be a motivational speaker'.

I enjoyed both Aaron Eckhart & Jennifer Aniston in Love Happens, and we get a big treat with great performances from a set of secondary characters including Judy Greer who plays Eloise's chatty and enthusiastic friend Marty, Dan Fogler who does an amazing job as Burke's long time friend and self-proclaimed awesome manager Lane, and to cap it off a beautiful performance from Michael Sheen. It's a fun film with an inspirational tone and I was certainly rooting for everyone along the way.

DVD Extras: Deleted Scenes, Giving Romance a New Look - how visual effects were used in the film, Feature Commentary with Filmmakers

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it as fans of inspiring dramas & romances

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010


Suzie Ridler said...

I absolutely agree with you on this one Shannon, wholeheartedly. There was a little bit of depth here beyond a romance and very touching without being sentimental. I was surprised by the moments of seriousness but not in a bad way. I thought he was awesome and I agree, it was fun to hang out with their friends. Great cast.

melanie h said...

Nice review.
Very well thought out & appreciate
the attention to the detail of some of
the side plots.
i really loved John C Lynch in this movie.

There were a couple scenes I almost teared up.
The actors brought some very sincere moments.

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